Avs sign D Makar to entry-level contract

The Colorado Avalanche signed 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner Cale Makar to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Sunday.

The 20-year-old defenseman from the University of Massachusetts will join the Avalanche immediately for their first-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames.

The series, tied 1-1, resumes Monday night in Colorado.

Makar, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, just completed his sophomore season. He helped the Minutemen reach the NCAA Frozen Four title game and became the school’s first player to win the Hobey Baker Award, college hockey’s top individual prize.

“Cale obviously had a tremendous season, winning the Hobey Baker and getting his team to the Frozen Four,” Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “He is a game-changing type of player who made a lasting impact on the UMass hockey program. We are excited to have him join our team.”

Makar ranked first nationally among NCAA defensemen with 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) in 41 games this season.

The Calgary, Alberta, native was a unanimous selection as the Hockey East Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America honors.